Recently visited St Helen’s Church in Ashby de la Zouche to see the monuments in the Hastings Chapel, in particular, the monument to Francis 2nd Earl Huntingdon and his wife Catherine Pole.
A very well preserved monument with some fascinating detail including the Manticore, the Hasting’s badge, at the Earl’s feet, and the garter on his left leg, just below the knee, and on his left shoulder.
Francis was descended from Edward III in multiple ways as was his wife Catherine Pole. His ancestors included most of the primary families of England: Camoys, Neville, Beaufort, Montagu, Holland, Hungerford, Percy, Stafford, Beauchamp, Berkeley, Woodville as well as Luxembourg. Francis and Catherine had eleven children together. Catherine’s younger sister married Francis’ younger brother Thomas.
Francis took a prominent role at King Edward VI’s coronation on the 20 Feb 1547, carrying St Edward’s staff, as well as at the tournament that followed.
Francis was invested as a Knight of the Garter on 13 Oct 1549, the same day on which he arrested Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, who was subsequently beheaded Jan 1552, with his nephew, King Edward VI, casually noting ‘the duke of Somerset had his head cut off upon Tower Hill between eight and nine o’clock in the morning’.
Francis was imprisoned in 1553 for having supported Lady Jane Grey. Pardoned by Queen Mary I soon after he demonstrated his allegiance to Queen Mary I by, on her orders, arresting Lady Jane Grey’s father, Henry, who, initially being pardoned, was subsequently beheaded 23 Feb 1554 for his support of Wyatt’s attempt to prevent Queen Mary I marrying King Philip I of Spain.
Detail of the Earl’s Coronet and helm.
Detail of the Manticore on which the Earl’s feet rest. The Manticore being the badge of the Hasting’s family.
Detail showing the Earl’s Knight of the Garter Badge.